Amazon’s lawyers have requested a federal judge to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against the e-commerce company. They claim that the agency is targeting practices that ultimately benefit both consumers and competition.
The FTC, along with 17 states, filed a complaint against Amazon accusing the company of inflating prices and limiting competition in the “online superstore market” and “online marketplace services.” Amazon’s response was received over two months after the initial filing.
In a legal document of 31 pages filed in a federal court in Washington state, Amazon responded, stating that the actions that the FTC has identified as anti-competitive are regular practices in the retail industry that ultimately benefit customers.
The FTC’s claim, submitted in September, alleged that the company was involved in anti-competitive actions by implementing methods that discourage outside sellers from providing lower prices for goods on websites other than Amazon.
The organization stated that Amazon intentionally hid listings that were available at lower prices on other websites. At the same time, it pointed out that Amazon was steadily increasing fees for merchants and causing prices to rise on its own platform. It also claimed that Amazon relied on services such as logistics and delivery, which have generated billions in annual revenue, to keep sellers dependent on its platform.
Amazon stated in its plea for dismissal that the lawsuit alleges fault with Amazon for showcasing competitive prices and choosing not to feature uncompetitive prices.
According to the company’s filing, Amazon quickly matches competitors’ discounts and offers competitively priced deals, rather than overcharging. They also prioritize providing top-notch delivery service for their Prime subscribers. These practices, which are the focus of the antitrust Complaint, benefit consumers and are at the core of healthy competition.
Amazon has refuted claims that it only offers Prime membership to products that use its fulfillment service, Fulfillment by Amazon, which guarantees fast shipping.
An unredacted version of the FTC’s lawsuit unveiled in November alleged Amazon used a tool — codenamed “Project Nessie” — to predict where it can raise prices and have other shopping sites follow suit. The agency said Amazon used the algorithm to raise prices on some products and kept the new elevated prices in place after other sites followed its lead.
According to Amazon’s submission on Friday, the company previously tested a system called “Nessie” which automatically adjusted prices. This system aimed to match the second-lowest competitor’s price instead of the absolute lowest for certain products and time periods. However, Amazon announced that it ended these experiments in 2019 and now sets its prices to match the lowest available prices.
In its filing, Amazon refuted the agency’s claim that it is a monopoly and stated that it faces competition from a variety of businesses, including small retailers and larger companies such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Apple.